Role of the Genes to Geoscience Research Enrichment Program Convenor

A dedicated Genes to Geoscience Research Enrichment Program (GGREP)Convenor is charged with the day-to-day implementation of the Program by coordinating masterclass convenors and participants, and by fulfilling the objectives of the Genes to Geoscience Leadership Group. The Coordinator job is a paid position. Currently, he works 2 days a week as Convenor and has a postdoc position for the other 3 days. Everyone else’s time is given voluntarily. The Coordinator’s role is to make sure that the program happens on the ground.  The Coordinator commented that having resources (money and time) are important in doing the job of coordinator, but that also the accessibility of the Research Director has been important in giving the program support and direction.

The Coordinator liaises with everyone to make sure everyone knows what’s going on and manages the program for the year. People are often willing to provide modules but it requires some logistical manoeuvring to actually make it happen. The job of the Coordinator requires a lot of liaising with staff, and being sensitive to people’s workloads and responsibilities. He commented that he runs around trying to chase people up, talks to people face to face rather than sending email, provides opportunities for people to re-engage with what they’re doing by offering a module, and decides when it is best to leave people alone who’ve got a particularly busy semester or year. The evaluation of masterclasses is a critical element in the cohesion of GGREP and participants who do not provide it are not considered as having participated in the masterclass. The convenor summarises the feedback, which then helps guide the Leadership Group in modifying and improving the GGREP masterclass menu.

The Coordinator believes he is more of a facilitator than a leader in research education, but stated: ”I guess as an active member of the committee and someone who’s making the program run on a day-to-day basis my input into all of these discussions would be considered a leadership-type role I would think. I’m in a very supportive environment so that’s useful.”

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